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Andrea Mitchell Reports

News/Business. Interviews with political figures with host Andrea Mitchell. New.

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Israel 13, Us 11, Grover Norquist 9, Washington 9, Egypt 6, Iran 5, Dennis Ross 5, Boehner 4, Andrea Mitchell 4, Cymbalta 4, Susan Rice 4, John Boehner 4, Cairo 4, South Carolina 4, America 3, Msnbc 3, United States 3, Medicare 3, Mexico 3, Martin Fletcher 3,
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  MSNBC    Andrea Mitchell Reports    News/Business. Interviews with political  
   figures with host Andrea Mitchell. New.  

    November 26, 2012
    10:00 - 11:00am PST  

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i made clear that the information was preliminary and that our investigations would give us the definitive answers. >> john mccain is now softening his opposition to her possible nomination as secretary of state. >> i give everyone the benefit of explaining their position and the actions that they took, and i'll be glad to have the opportunity to discuss these issues with her. >> we'll talk to former bush national security adviser steve hadley. plus a new wave against president morsi. and two indianapolis colts cheerleaders save their hair in support of their coach's fight against leukemia. good day, i'm andrea mitchell live in washington. congress is back. grover norquist's tax pledge could be history. and all eyes are now focusing on house republicans as talks to avoid going over that so-called fiscal cliff are picking up
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steam. joining me now, mark halperin, senior political analyst for "time" and msnbc and ruth marcus, columnist and editorial writer for the "washington post." to you, mark, what is your read about what we've been hearing the last couple of days about grover norquist, the pledge and how much running room the speaker does have to b negotiating a deal. >> i did a spit take with my fruity pebbles watching "morning joe" because eric cantor's tone was unlike anything i've ever heard. his office is saying oh, no, he's against raising marginal rates, but it's clear that in the scheme of things, the biggest piece is does john boehner have enough running room to strike a deal involving some new revenue. i still am of the belief that the vote in the house, which will be a cliff hanger no matter what happens amongst the leaders in the white house, it will be a tough vote. i think it will be a democratic buildup than a republican buildup.
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but there's no doubt that if eric cantor is willing to at least vote on a deal that has new revenue, that that is a huge paradigm shift. and i think that gives us all hope, although there's still a long way to go, that there can be a deal that has the president has said for a long time, a balanced approach. >> but ruth, what are the democrats willing to give, because there are some democrats, some of the more liberal democrats who are saying let's go over the cliff. that gives us more leverage. >> there's extremes in both parties that say let's go over the cliff. grover norquist was saying it the other day. i just want to -- before we get to the democrats, i want to be debbie downer for a minute on the republican side. i totally agree with mark. we're hearing a different tone and a different bottom line from republicans, so revenue is on the table. real revenue, not just imagined from dynamic scoring, and grover norquist's pledge, i think, is morabund if not already dead. but here is the reason for my
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pessimism. it's going to look terrible until it all gets solved. i did a lot of reporting on this over the weekend. the initial offer from house republicans coming back to the white house after that big kumbaya summit meeting the other day was, okay, we'll give you revenue but we're not specifying a number, we're not having an enforcement mechanism like the trigger. we are extending all the bush tax rates in the interim and, by the way, we need all of these -- we're going to disarm the sequester of the defense spending cuts and we're not going to fold the debt ceiling increase into this deal, and i think the white house was very taken aback by the meagerness of that offer. and so there's a different tone. but if the substance is going to be enough and the time is short, it's really going to be complicated to get this done by the end of the year. >> mosark, if the debt ceiling not wrapped up, the president is not going for it.
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he does not want to face this twice. >> it's impossible to imagine, that's such a key piece for the white house, just not to have this fight again. it's going to have to be a joint whip operation in the house. i think there will be a period from the time there's a deal amongst the leaders in the bipartisan leadership in the white house, there will be a period from then until it gets passage in the house that will look like where are the votes going to possibly come from. but if stan hoyer and john boehner are willing to do a deal that they can both support, i think they can get to a majority in the house. the key -- the real trick is the two-part thing or maybe three parts because no one is going to get everything they want in a deal during a lame duck session. it's just not possible. but if they could have good faith to go forward, i think they can do it. as i said before, more democratic votes in the house than republican votes, but plenty of republican votes. >> it sounds to me as though our holiday week or week leading up
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to new year's is going to be messed up again. i would be remiss if i let two of the top reporters in washington go, washington, new york, or any other place where you are, whether you're hearing anything imminent on the cabinet front. i think we all assume that secretary of state is going to be the first job filled. that treasury is a little more complicated. mark, ruth, jump in here. mark, you first as to what you're hearing is the latest on the secretary of state front. >> well, look, i think the question -- the biggest question to me is whether the president wants to do the big three all at once or maybe the big four all at once or do it in a staggered way. we really don't know how long secretary clinton or geithner or panetta plan to stay or are willing to stay into the new year. i still believe that the president, everything i've heard and all the body language suggests he'd like susan rice in that job. i think after senator mccain's backoff, that makes it even more likely than before. >> ruth? >> yes, very quickly, i agree with mark. he wants susan rice. i think that means he is going
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to do susan rice, nominate susan rice, and i believe that whether or not senator mccain really is serious about mounting a filibuster that, she will be confirmed. i spoke to a number of democrats over the weekend, though, who are simultaneously convinced that that's who the president wants and questioning about whether given all the other things that there are to get accomplished, whether it's worth the hassle of doing it. but he's the president so he gets to decide. >> let's just hope sooner rather than later because ruth and mark, i seem to recall a 1992 christmas eve in little rock and we were still waiting for the final cabinet choices and it was certainly not a memorable christmas. >> we were and drinking -- i believe we were drinking champagne out of coffee cups stealthally, but don't tell capital hotel. >> thank you very much. memories of christmases past. thanks, mark, thanks, ruth. >> thank you. one of the key republican lawmakers who has been breaking with the norquist pledge to
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oppose all tax increases is senator baob corker of tennesse. senator, welcome. thank you very much. >> good morning. >> you've been a key player on this whole issue of coming up with a negotiation, in the past negotiations as well. what is your sense of it coming back to washington now? is there a deal to be done? >> i think so. obviously two key players are john boehner and the president. look, i would say -- i heard your previous speakers, if you will. i think it's so much easier, andrea, just to lay out the policy now than it is to try to negotiate a two-step or three-step process. i've written a 242-page bill that lays out the policies. the tax portions are just four pages long, so i sure hope that people will stop talking about the fact this is just too hard to do. we have a menu of options, all of which have been scored. this congress has had two dry runs. we've been through this more than any congress ever in the
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history of our country. and really, we just have to make some tough decisions. they're going to be equally painful three months from now, nine months from now, two years from now. as a matter of fact, at that point they'll have to be even more draconian. we can do this now, we know what the options are. let's make the decisions, get them behind us. it does appear that speaker boehner and the president are open to talking about revenues with entitlement reform. and i think you've seen numbers of republicans backing the revenues piece. what we now need to see is real offers of entitlement reform. >> let me play a little bit of the comments from a reality check from the world of business from caveddavid cote who was ont the press" and explaining why this is so critical from a business perspective. >> right now i'm not that bullish at all. in fact i'd say there's a great uncertainty that's just hanging over the entire economy because
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we're not confident that our guys can govern anymore. there's a lot of money on the sidelines that people are willing to invest. people like me just aren't hiring now because we're not confident they can do it. >> so i mean you've heard that. i'm sure you've heard that from business and this is one of the business leaders that's been talking to the white house and trying to get them to be more flexib flexible. what taxes do you think we're going to end up with? you've been through it round and round as you said. are we going to end up with a different capital gains tax rate? >> first of all, dave, i've had dinner with dave and multiple meetings with him. i couldn't agree more with him. and that's why, andrea, we have plenty of time to make these decisions. it's just a matter of doing it. we can do it in two or three weeks. candidly they can be made in two or three days. it's easy to put this policy into writing. i've demonstrated that with a bill. but what dave is saying is if we would just do this, put this in the rear-view mirror, that money that's on the sideline, the dus
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1.7 trillion, the $2 trillion would more quickly be invested. we would have economic growth in this country and that's the single most important thing we can do to begin in january, focusing on the greatness of this country. andrea, the bill that i've laid out getting to the revenue side, and again john boehner is the important person in this, it has about a trillion dollars in revenu revenues. $750 billion come at capping exclusions at 750,000. you just cap the amount of itemized deductions. it hits the wealthy, not people not in that category. it also has -- social security is supposed to capture 90% of the wages and only captures 84%. if you move that up to 90 through 2050, what it does is generate revenues. it also has chained cpi. that changes the inflation rate. what that does is move people in the upper brackets more quickly,
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but it also controls entitlement spending. if you add all that up, it's $1 trillion. and my point is just to say these things are easy to document. it's much easier to make these decisions now than we're in a crisis down the road. >> but if we're -- >> go ahead. >> if we're talking about a credible $4 trillion plan, senator, then that's a trillion. then you're talking about making up the rest in spending cuts? >> well, we've already got $917 billion in the budget control act. i think everybody has agreed that the overseas contingency operation money, which is now already in the fiscal baseline, is not going to be spent, so it's easy to come up with $4.5 trillion. so my bill, my particular bill has $1 trillion in revenue, it has also entitlement reforms. but andrea, if you add all of these things up, you easily get to the $4.5 trillion.
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dave cote, steve ratner, others that have been outspoken said a $4 trillion deal is what we need to be looking for. andrea, this just isn't that hard. and all we need to do is sit down. all of these things have been scored. everybody knows these backwards and forwards. now's the time to go ahead and act and begin the new year getting the dave cotes of this world to invest in america. >> senator corker, it's always a pleasure. thank you very much. >> thank you. and up next, protests in egypt and the turnover on the president's foreign policy team. we'll talk to dennis ross. and still ahead, former bush national security adviser steven hadley, plus our correspondents in the field. this is "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc.
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egypt is poised for more demonstrations in cairo tomorrow over a new constitutional crisis. president muhammed morsi's challenge to the judiciary involving holdovers from the mubarak regime and raulong traditions. joining me is ambassador dennis ross. thank you so much. good to see you. >> you too. >> egypt. now, perhaps morsi felt empowered by his role as a peacemaker on gaza, but he ran right into long-standing traditions. >> he did. he did. i think bear in mind a couple of things. number one, he felt that the role he played made him a central figure in the region as a whole. in mubarak's last few years, the fact was mubarak was increasingly on the sidelines, not playing a major role in the middle east. here's president morsi thinking he can play on the image they are a leader in the region and he can use that as a device to make a move internally.
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he made that move but i think it's a clear miscalculation because he took on the independents of the judiciary. it doesn't matter that. these were leaders who were holdovers from the mubarak regime, they still represented a symbol of independence. suddenly he was trying to remove all checks on his own power. >> so you're suggesting he's going to have to find a face-saving way to step back from this brink? >> i do think that there's a -- the backlash that has been produced is such that he's going to want to find a way out of it. now, i think he can obviously mobilize the muslim brotherhood to put pressure on people in the street, but that isn't a great outcome for him either because it produces ongoing turmoil. >> former defense -- well, defense minister and former prime minister in israel has announced he's not seeking a position in the next cabinet after the election. does this signal anything about the situation vis-a-vis iran since he was one of the most hawkish of the cabinet members on iran? >> no doubt it reflects i'm sure a set of personal considerations
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for him, but the fact is he has been the architect of the options vis-a-vis iran, he has been the one who basically has outlined why it has to be dealt with, even though he wants to put it in the context of close u.s./israeli relations. ultimately israel has to find a way to deal with it either on its own or with us. >> israel has talked about a ship that's loaded with rockets potentially heading to gaza. so is there another crisis brewing? where do we stand with the cease-fire, where both sides seem to be testing each other the last few days? >> i believe the cease-fire in fact is going to hold. if you look at all three parties who were involved in it aside from the united states, who i think did play a pivotal role at the end. president morsi, the last thing he needs is for something he brokered to break down. it enhances his power. he has problems on the inside, he doesn't need a problem on the outside. hamas is claiming they had great
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achievements. if they get back into a conflict with the israelis, there go those achievements. and the israelis obviously want to have calm as well. so i think all three sides have an interest in preserving this. there will be tests from time to time, that's a given. the fact that the iranians will try to get arms in there very quickly is also a given. i think the israelis will act to prevent that but i don't think it will break down the cease-fire. >> and then we have another situation that may be a sideshow in terms of the impact but we have a vote scheduled for thursday at the united nations where the palestinians are seeking some legitimacy, the other palestinians, the fatah wing, mahmoud abbas is coming to new york to have a vote in the general assembly which will be a largely symbolic vote on statehood, especially after hamas has flexed its muscles and said military and not diplomacy is the way to legitimacy internationally, it seems loom foolhardy on the part of the palestinians. >> first of all, what's going on, you're president abbas,
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you've just been seen to be basically irrelevant to what's going on. supposedly gaza, which is part of any palestinian state, you have no influence or control over. so this is also a way to remind everybody that he's still there. now, the problem with it is, is that it is symbolic. it doesn't advance the cause of peace or palestinian interest but it's his way of trying to demonstrate relevancy. the real question is, is there a way to get beyond this so we get away from what's purely symbolic and move on what is substantive? as long as we're focused on symbols, we see a perpetuation of the palestinian history which leads to more symbolic kinds of postures. >> do you see any way we deal with hamas as a political entity? >> not unless hamas is prepared to accept the basic conditions that we and others have established, what are known as the quartet conditions. i don't know why we would establish a set of ground rules for them different from the plo.
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we had a series of requirements the plo to do meet. they had to recognize israel, renounce terror and violence. if they were not prepared to meet that, there wouldn't have been a dialogue with the plo. why would we allow hamas not to meet any of those conditions and deal with it? i don't see. >> it dennis ross, thank you, ambassad ambassador. good to see you. >> my pleasure. up next, congressm maman clyborn. blp. it's time for the "your business" entrepreneur of the week. christine osborn wants you to shop small. the owner of wonder works, a charleston, south carolina, based toy store believes in cooperation instead of competition. he has a section dedicated to locally made products to make sure that her customers' dollars stay local. for more, watch "your business" sunday mornings at 7:30 on msnbc. [ male announcer ] if you're eligible for medicare...
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[ shirley ] things are sometimes a little tight around the house. i wasn't able to go to the wedding. [ emily jo ] since derrell couldn't get home, we decided to bring home to him and then just gave him a little bit of help finding his way. ♪ [ laughs ] [ applause ] i love you. i love you, too. in those talks to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff, house democrats are being pressed for compromises on spending cuts. are they going to agree to cuts in medicare and other entitlements in exchange for tax increases? south carolina congressman and assistant democratic leader james clyburn joins me now from south carolina. welcome, congressman. thanks for being with us. >> thank you so much for having me. >> let's talk about these negotiations because ruth marcus from the "washington post" was reporting earlier in our program that in initial talks staff to
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staff that there was no give at all from the republicans in their initial counteroffer to the white house, no give at all on the extension of the debt ceiling. where do you stand, if there's no give on that? how do you avoid this crisis? >> well, i would hope that those reports are erroneous. the fact of the matter is i think that we have vetted that with the american people. we have now had a very definitive election and i think the american people spoke very loudly as to the approach they would like to take. we know where the president was in the debt ceiling talks last year or earlier this year, and the american people have come down on the side of the president. so i would hope that those reports are not accurate. when is comes to the other kinds of compromises, i think that democrats are ready to do
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surgical cuts in order the meet the president's goals. i would hope that the republicans, and from what i hear i'm encouraged that republicans are now ready to get beyond this pledge that kept us from doing our work in the super committee and do what is necessary to get our country moving forward again. so those reports, though i have heard of them, i just have a hard time believing that they're all that accurate. >> does there need to be a meeting with the president this week to get things reinvigorated? are you expecting to go to the white house this week? >> well, i think the president will be meeting with the leadership of both sides this week. i understand that he was on the phone with speaker boehner over the weekend. all of that is a very, very good sign. i saw eric cantor on this
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network this morning, and i was very pleased with the fact that he says he will respond to his constituents rather than to grover norquist. that's the kind of attitude that we need going into this. and i think that you will find from democrats that we want to take a look at things that we can do to medicare and medicaid and means testing, although we do means test medicare now, i think we ought to expand means testing and i really believe that we can take a hard look at the way we compute the consumer price index in order to get to where we need to be. i heard senator corker on your program earlier. i was very, very pleased with that. in fact i was wondering which one of us or where because he is exactly where i am on all these issues. i never thought that would be
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the case. >> house and senate republican and democrat, how about that for progress. i wish we could negotiate it for you here. go ahead, sir. >> well, i think so. it's kind of tough for us members of the house to agree with senators on anything, but i think that most of what i've heard over the weekend indicate that senators, i understand ten or 12 of them, are ready to move on revenues and that's a good sign. and i think that there are house members who are ready to move as well. so if the senate, which has already passed a plan that i think will work very well, if we could get the house to vote on it, maybe the house can come up with its own plan and then get to a conference. we ought to be able to do that before we go home for christmas. and i don't mean staying here until christmas eve to do it. >> finally, do you think that you and the republican leadership, you and boehner's
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operation can do a joint whip operation to try to get the votes that you're going to have to put up some democratic votes to help him with his house republican caucus. >> we've always been willing to do that. i have not discussed that with senator hoyer well enough but i know him well enough to know that he would love to do a joint whip operation on this. this is the kind of issue that we ought to join hands. and i don't mean this sort of the way it sounds, and jump over the cliff together or pull back together, whatever it might be. let's join hands, let's have a joint whip operation, let's come up with 300 or 400 votes on this issue, which i think we could do if we really were to get serious about doing the surgical cuts and about finding the kind of revenue that we could get from war savings, from the upper end
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tax cuts. i remember what we did on the super committee. it's not hard to do. senator corker is absolutely correct, it is not very hard to do. we just have to be willing to go ahead and do it and not worry about who gets the credit. >> thank you very much, mr. leader. see you soon. you're coming i guess tomorrow when congress is back. >> yes, i will be tomorrow morning. >> thank you for joining us today from south carolina. >> thank you for having me. up next, we're live in cairo. plus former national security adviser steven hadley joining us right here.
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egyptian mediators have begun supervising talks between israel and hamas over border issues left unresolved by the cease-fire. this as egypt faces internal turmoil over president morsi's presidential decrees, what many are calling a power grab. martin fletcher is in tel aviv. let's start with you, amon in
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cairo. i know it's a little calmer today. it was suggested by dennis ross earlier, who has seen a lot of thesis negotiations in the past, morsi probably overreached and has to find a face-saving way out. do you see any signs of that? >> absolutely. after he fired the country's top generals, a few months ago, he's set his sights on the judiciary because him and his supporters say that it was the judiciary, the senior judges of this country, who were appointed by president mumubarak, the former dictator, that are blocking the transition to democracy. they upheld the law that essentially dissolved parliament. they are also blocking other measures that president morsi wants to drive forward on his agenda. so what he and his supporters are saying is that they needed to have this judicial immunity, this decree that he issued on thursday that allows him to make laws without the supervision or the review of the justice department essentially so he can pass these types of legislations that move egypt to more
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stability and to a more democratic transition. that right new seems to be the biggest protest. people are not buying it. they don't trust the promise of a president who they say after 30 years of dictatorship will deliver on absolute power going back to the hands of an elected parliament once that happens. >> and martin fletcher in tel aviv, this must be causing some stress in tel aviv with israeli officials because they are counting on egypt to monitor any future smuggling of rockets into gaza. they are the guarantors of this cease-fire. so far it's holding. >> reporter: well, that's right, it is holding. israel is worried because looking at president morsi in egypt, as you say they are depending on him more and more. we're all looking at -- everyone is looking at the egyptian leader now to see what kind of a leader he will be. from israel's point of view, it's can they trust him to actually be -- oversee the true arrangements with hamas and not favor hamas.
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by the way, it's pretty close to the equation of the palestinians saying that america is too much on israel's side when it's overseeing negotiations before. so now it's on the other -- it's on the other foot. israel now concerned that the egyptian leaders will favor hamas and the demands of hamas that israel open all the border crossings. there's only one open at the moment. there were four before 2006. hamas wants them all opened. israel is insisting they don't smuggle weapons. now the question is does israel trust the egyptians to make sure hamas does not smuggle weapons into gaza. looking what we all are calling a power grab in egypt, increasing the power of the islamic fundamentalists in egypt doesn't bode well for israel's confidence in the egyptian leadership, andrea. >> martin, before i let you go, what is your read on ehud barack's saying he's not going
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to stay in the cabinet. this could be read as a signal that he doesn't see imminent military action against iran, which has been a main part of his agenda? >> reporter: well, it has been a very important part of his agenda and it would be surprising if it really was going to happen soon that he would at this point facing one of israel's most momentous decisions in its history, that he would want to take a back seat. there are a lot of other things going on. one of the issues going on is that his own party that he foundinged, the independent party, is doing really poorly in the polls and is likely that he may not even make it through into the next parliament in the elections that are being held in january. so it's being seen here maybe he wants to quit while he's ahead. and the fact that he's going to resign as defense minister does not mean, by the way, that he could not be called back to service by the prime minister netanyahu if he wins elections in the future. so he's saying he's getting out of politics but it doesn't necessarily mean the end of his political career. a lot of skeptics here, andrea.
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>> martin fletcher, thank you very much. thanks also to amon in cairo. i'm joined by former national security adviser for president george w. bush steve hadley. steve, good to see you. a lot going on. let's talk about iran and the testing of iron dome, at least against short-range rockets. the promise from president obama for more money for more missile defense against the longer range missiles. they already have patriots there, but obviously some more long-range protection as well. what is iran's read now, seeing that morsi and the islamist party has been the guarantor of this cease-fire? does that create more leverage for egypt and less for iran as the mentor to hamas and gaza? >> well, it does give egypt some influence with hamas. they, of course, have the same muslim brotherhood roots. on the other hand, this has been an opportunity for iran, because iran in some sense has been the
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arming agent of hamas in the same way they have been the arming agent of hezbollah. and it is also viewed by many as proof that israel only makes concessions in the face of threats of violence, which is very much out of the iranian playing book rather than the playbook of fatah or western countries who would like to see a two-state solution achieved through diplomacy rather than threat of violence. >> do you see the united states and iran getting involved in bilateral talks? there are a lot of suggestions from this side as well as some suggestions from tehran that perhaps they could be serious. you never know, because they have promised and retreated in the past when the ayatollah decides they have gone too far. >> look, we'll have to see what the administration does. i think you had dennis ross earlier on the show. he among others have said that the administration ought to make a real comprehensive offer to the iranians to resolve the nuclear issue as a test.
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if it's accepted, then that would resolve the issue or at least be a down payment towards resolving the issue short of force. if it is rejected, it will have smoked out the iranians as to their intentions. the question, of course, is, is there a deal that we could accept that the iranians could accept? i tend to be skeptical. >> what if there's a deal regarding real oversight of a civilian program that could not easily leap to the -- in terms of the number of centrifuges, the amount of enrichment, so they could have their claim that they have the right under the nuclear treaty to a civilian program and we had enough oversight from the international atomic energy agency and others to know that it was not easily transformed into a weapons program? >> well, if there is a proposal, that's what it will get down to because there is a view among many people that if some enrichment is not allowed, there is no deal that iran could
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accept. there are many americans who believe that there is no kind of oversight of an ongoing enrichment program that doesn't allow iran to move closer towards a nuclear weapon. so that will be the debate within the united states. and the question really is does the proposal that comes out of that debate one that the iranians could accept? if not, then the question is where are we? and many people would say we've set the table for use of force if we need to do it. if the iranians continue, as they have been, moving along towards developing their nuclear program. and the challenge, of course, for any military option is it needs to leave you in a position where you're more able to prevent iran getting a nuclear weapon, not less able to prevent iran from getting a nuclear weapon. and that is a tall order. we need a more -- i think, a more informed and insightful debate about what is a scenario
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involving diplomacy, sanctions, negotiations and perhaps limited use of force that's actually going to move us to a better place, more able to prevent iran from getting a nuclear weapon, which is what president obama has said we must do. than the alternatives. i don't think we've had the kind of sophisticated debate in this country we need on this issue. >> interesting. you're concerned that we could envision use of force which would leave us in a worse place and closer to a breakout. >> correct. >> steve hadley, thank you. thank you so much. >> nice to be with you. will republicans support tax increases? are democrats going to agree to entitlement cuts? the strategy session next. pers baked in a ketchup glaze with savory gravy and mashed russet potatoes. what makes stouffer's meatloaf best of all? that moment you enjoy it at home. stouffer's. let's fix dinner. is the same frequent heartburn treatment as prilosec otc. now with a fancy coating
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big decisions coming up for president obama and speaker boehner on tax cuts and entitlement cuts, tax increases andin titlement cuts. joining me to talk about the strategy is ed rendell, former governor of pennsylvania and
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political analyst vin weber former congress member and republican strategist. ed, first of all, you've heard what eric cantor and others have been saying today. what about grover norquist and the possibility that that no-tax pledge that has really handcuffed negotiators for decades is something that is quickly being shaken off? >> yeah, i think it's sort of falling apart. i think what republicans are finding out is when you pull back the curtain, like with the wizard of oz, there's nobody there. grover norquist never got one vote, hasn't been elected to do anything and really just forced himself into the american political scene. a lot of grover norquist pledge signers lost in the last election, both incumbents and people who had signed the pledge running this time. look, the american people aren't dumb. they know that we have to cut spending, but they know we have to raise revenue and that comes first. i think saxby chambliss said it best over the weekend. he said his country comes before
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any pledge that he signed 20 years ago and he's absolutely right. >> but it's house republicans, and you know that arena, house republicans who are worried about being primaried and they still have that threat. >> well, it's a concern. i don't disagree with that. first of all, i've known grover since he first came to washington a long time ago. he does not deserve to be villified. i understand he's a problem in these negotiations but he's a smart guy and i think has contributed a lot. but he's explained the reason the pledge is in trouble. when he said the pledge was made to the people's constituents, he's right. but those constituents now want us to solve a larger budget problem and so public support for the no new taxes pledge, which is what grover based his whole operation on, has eroded in the face of a larger fiscal problem and i think republicans are going to recognize that and i think we will see a deal. >> ed, when we talk about a deal, we're talking about painful spending cuts on the democratic side. are they willing to do it? because we see already these
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advertisements from putting pressure on the democrats and on the left. >> sure. not every democrat is going to be willing to do it and not every republican is going to be willing to vote for revenue. but i think enough will, enough understand what's at stake here stake here. look. i think the point that some of the republican house men, senate members have made is a good one. they're not going to vote for it until they see our willingness to do some difficult spending. both sides understand we have to cut the military bucket. andrea, the united states spends more money annual lu on defense than the top 20 stations other than us spend together on defense. we've got to cut the military budget. that's got to be part of it. and we've tot have a mature responsible attitude, and i think we democrats have to produce votes some of which are going to be painful and some risky to us. but lord knows if this is isn't
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the time to take risks for benefits for the country, when is it? >> when will republicans be willing to take cuts. >> i agree with ed. it makes me more nervous than i think it makes ed. we look around the world. we've about got a lot of challenges today. i agree with the proposition that the defense has to be on the table because i think everything has to be on the table. but i think national security is important and down the road we have to be careful how we cut the defense budget. but i want to make a point. if you put everything on the table, it's not as painful for members as they think it's going to be. what's going to make this painful is the more things they take off the table so that they do indeed have to inflict great pain on whatever's left, so the bigger the deal, bigger and easier it is for voters to vote for. >> he's absolutely right but remember bob gates said we could cut the defense budget by almost
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8 $80 billion a year. he's a republican and a hawk. >> i agree with that. >> we don't want you to be anxious. that's next on "andrea mitchell reports." 1y50irks imagine you, with less pain. cymbalta can help. cymbalta is fda-approved to manage chronic musculoskeletal pain. one non-narcotic pill a day, every day, can help reduce this pain. tell your doctor right away if your mood worsens, you have unusual changes in mood or behavior or thoughts of suicide. antidepressants can increase these in children, teens, and young adults. cymbalta is not approved for children under 18. people taking maois or thioridazine or with uncontrolled glaucoma should not take cymbalta. taking it with nsaid pain relievers, aspirin, or blood thinners may increase bleeding risk. severe liver problems, some fatal, were reported. signs include abdominal pain and yellowing skin or eyes.
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. and which employ cal story will make headlines in the next 24 hours. jonathan capehart joins us. hey, jonathan, what are we looking at tomorrow? a lot of big doings in washington. >> well, the president elect of mexico enrique peno is coming to visit president obama at the white house. he gets inaugurated and vice president biden is going down to be part of that. i think that's what we're going to be talking about tomorrow. >> the fact that president obama said one of his big priorities in the second term was
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immigration. so clearly the president of mexico is going to want to see what he's willing to deliver. >> right. exactly. this is something that the current president of mexico, calderon, has been pushing for a long time as well. >> thanks so much, jonathan capehart. that does it for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." next up is my colleague tamron hall. >> the senate returns to work at the top of the hour as debate over the fiscal cliff kicks into shall we say high gear. are republicans ready to ditch their decades-old plunge not to hike taxes? we'll all talk with peter de-faiz owe who was just quoted as saying we're betting off going off the cliff. plus, republicans say they're preparing to put an immigration reform bill forward, but is it adequate? we'll talk with nbc's latinos next. with prevacid24hr.
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hi, everyone. i'm tamron hall. take a look. live pictures right now from capitol hill where the senate is going back into session at this very hour. now with five weeks before the so-called fiscal cliff deadline, new signs republicans could be ready to compromise democrats' demands to raise taxes on the wealthiest americans. "the washington post" is calling it the gop's read my lips moment as several top republicans are willing to break grover norquist's tax debt. t >> a pledge you signed 20 years ago, 18 years ago is for that congress. >> you know, that pledge i signed 20 years ago was valid then. it's valid now, but times have